Walden, or, why have I not read this before?

For years now I’ve been working toward living a life of simplicity. Cutting back is a type of hobby for me. Where I used to spend frivolously and recklessly, emptying my bank account for the sake of acquiring things, I now plan purchases and set aside wants for the things I need. 

In so many words, I am striving to live a meaningful and intentional life as an inhabitant on planet earth. 

Granted…I live in the real world, hold a full-time job, own a house (with a mortgage), socialize with a few close friends, and make occasional purchases. A lot of people do this as well. What makes my life a bit different is that I approach each facet of my life in a contemplative and thoughtful manner. 

I do my best to live in the present moment. And, I do my best to find and maintain daily connection with what is real. 

That reality is nature. 

Tonight, I went to the bookshelf in our bedroom closet to find some inspiration. There amongst the many books on my “to be read” piles lay a used copy of Walden I had picked up earlier this year at 2nd & Charles. It had cost me only a few dollars. I have been reading through a work of fiction this summer, as I’ve had the time. Tonight, however, I felt inspired to read something a bit different. Something a bit reality based. When my eye hit that copy of Walden, I felt my heart leap. 

Now, keep in mind that I just picked up the book. I will not know the extent of this work until I reach the end. But, this said, I am eager to dive in on the introduction alone. 

My copy of Walden was printed in 2004 by Beacon Press and the introduction was written by Bill McKibben. I just finished reading the intro and feel that I was led to read this at this point in time. 

In the intro, McKibben relates a story from his past where he spent some time alone in the woods. The longer he stayed immersed in nature, the more he noticed his deep connections to everything around him. 

This opening story resonated with me as I have had brief moments of connection, slivers of time where I felt and knew deep in my marrow the interconnectedness of all of life. 

It is a reconnection to “all that is” that I thirst for, quite deeply, at this moment. 

As I read Walden, I will share any ideas Thoreau’s words may inspire. I will share my experiences. And, as I contemplate this thing called life, I will blog about some of the many ways I live intentionally. I will also share memories of incredible revelation. If you have read the book and want to share your insights or experiences with reality, please leave a comment below. I would love to read your words. 

For now, though, let me retreat to Walden for a time. I need to put my mind into this quiet place and my feet into the cool, soothing waters of Thoreau’s gentle pond. 

Photo credit: correctoresenlared.blogspot.com

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